Smartphone Market Share
Vendor Data Overview
Worldwide smartphone vendors shipped a total of 312.9 million units during the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19), resulting in a 5.9% decline when compared to the 332.7 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2018. The drop marks the six-consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines for the global smartphone market.
From a geographic standpoint, while the China market will likely be challenged for the remainder of 2019, it was the U.S. market that felt the worst of the downturn in 1Q19. Smartphone volumes declined 15% year over year during the quarter as replacement rates continue to slow in one of the world's largest markets. Apple iPhone challenges contributed to the exceptionally poor 1Q19 in the U.S., but they were not alone as Samsung, LG, and other top vendors also witnessed declining volumes during the quarter. The only highlight from a vendor perspective was Huawei, which made a strong statement by growing volume and share despite market headwinds.
Samsung once again remained the leader in the worldwide smartphone market despite the volumes drop 8.1% in 1Q19 with shipments of 71.9 million. The vendor’ s recently launched, Galaxy S10 series did sell well during the quarter. With the 5G variant now launched in its home market of Korea and plans to bring this device and other 5G SKUs to other important markets in 2019, it will be equally crucial for Samsung not to lose focus on its mid-tier product strategy to fend off Huawei.
Huawei moved to the second position based on global market share and witnessed an impressive year-over-year growth of 50.3% in 1Q19 with volumes of 59.1 million units and a 19.0% market share. It also continued to lead the China smartphone market with a well-rounded portfolio targeting all segments from low to high. Huawei’s high-end models continued to create a strong affiliation for the mid to low-end models, which are supporting the company's overall shipment performance.
Apple dropped to the third spot as shipments dropped to 36.8 million units representing a staggering 29.5% decline from last year. Price cuts in China throughout the quarter along with favorable trade-in deals in many markets were still not enough to encourage consumers to upgrade. Combine this with the fact that most competitors will shortly launch 5G phones and new foldable devices, the iPhone could face a difficult remainder of the year. Despite the lackluster quarter, Apple's strong installed base along with its recent agreement with Qualcomm will be viewed as the light at the end of the tunnel heading into 2020 for the vendor.
Xiaomi experienced a slight decline in 1Q19 with volumes of 27.8 million, which was down 0.1% year over year. Despite its continued movement into Europe and other regions, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) remains its most important region with China, India, and Indonesia accounting for the bulk of its volume in the region. Of those three critical markets, India was the only country in Asia/Pacific where Xiaomi grew its shipments during the quarter. Its brand continues to build out in many markets including India as it continues its push beyond urban markets and into rural areas of India.
Vivo returned to the top 5 of the smartphone market with volumes of 23.2 million and a market share of 7.5%, tying* it with OPPO for the number 5 position. Other than Huawei, vivo was the only other vendor at the top of the market that was able to grow shipments in 1Q19 with volumes up 24.0% over 1Q18. India continues to be its most important market outside of China, and the company continues to invest substantial money on marketing with the Indian Premier League for Cricket being a prime example of these investments.
OPPO was tied* with vivo in terms of market share, although slightly behind in terms of overall shipment volumes. OPPO shipped 23.1 million smartphones in 1Q19, enough to capture a 7.4% market share, although volumes were down 6.0% from 1Q18. The recent announcement of the Reno series brought OPPO back to the forefront of the global smartphone innovation discussion. However, lower end models like the A series continue to drive most of its smartphone volumes.
Notes: IDC declares a statistical tie in the worldwide smartphone market when there is a difference of 0.1% or less in the share of revenues or shipments among two or more vendors.